Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In the Works (Edition Three)

In the Works is a bi-weekly feature of To Each Their Own Reviews.

This week's In the Works focuses on the second half of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

So in the first half, I fell in love with Karou. Did the second half live up to my expectations?

(Don't follow the break if you don't want to read about the second half of the book, this is a spoiler-ific post!)

I was thoroughly satisfied with the second half of this book.

I was worried that the big reveal about Karou - which I thought was foreshadowed quite nicely - was going to ruin everything for me. I fretted over whether or not there would be this tension between Madrigal and Karou, and that we might lose Karou entirely. Because I was so attached to her after the first half, I was really reluctant to keep reading. I am so glad that I did.

I got a real sense of near-continuity in terms of character as we shifted from present day to past memories. I didn't feel there was ultimately a disconnect between them at all, and I loved the way that Madrigal's past was merged with Karou's present.

It's unusual for me to stop reading a book half way and put a pin in it for a week or two. I ended up not starting in on the second portion of the book until a day before I wanted to write this post. This turned out okay because, as I suspected, I really could not put the book down. 

Akiva ended up being not the jerk that I feared. I appreciated that he and Karou faced torn loyalties between each other and their 'families'. There's so much emotional turmoil in this book and I read it all as authentic. I completely bought into the story.

There's a lot to unpack in this book in terms of outcome and impact on the next novel in the series. I'm not sure what to expect in terms of what Karou will find through the portal. My fingers are crossed that things aren't as bad for her friends as Akiva suggests.

I'm hoping that Karou comes back from her reaction to Akiva, that she's able to forgive or at least see his side relatively quickly. I'm anticipating that the next novel will spend less time (nearly half a book!) in flashbacks, which was a necessary trick to make the first book work but now I want to know what Karou and Akiva are going to do moving forward.

I also really want to spend more time with Brimstone - I find him the most intriguing character aside from the two leads. 

Ultimately, I guess, I think the book is perhaps simplistic on drawing the line between who I care about and who I don't care for at all, but I'm enjoying the story a lot. I'm curious to see where it takes us in terms of the war, the motivation for it and whether or not peace can really be achieved - at what cost?

And of course, I'm rooting for a happy ending for Karou.  

What did you think of Daughter of Smoke & Bone?  I'll have a proper review up in a day or two, but suffice to say, I'll be giving this on 5 stars!

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I was a bit frustrated that the second half of the book was a flashback. It felt a bit disjointed to me. I agree that the entire flashback was necessary. It just felt a bit abrupt. I just read the second book, and I enjoyed it much more.